At the beginning of December I was invited to take part in the Comvita Super Antioxidant Challenge. In a nutshell, the Challenge celebrated the vitality and longevity enjoyed by people from around the Mediterranean Sea. They are among the healthiest, most vital and happy populations in the world, with life expectancies 10 years above the global average. Sardinia in Italy and Ikaria in Greece are two of five areas in the world known as "Blue Zones", pockets around the globe where people live measurably better.
The Challenge before me was to make like the Sardinians and eat antioxidant rich Mediterranean style whole foods, do simple activities every day that connect me to family and friends and boost my wellbeing, and take a swig of Comvita's "Sardinian bottled secret" - Olive Leaf Extract - every morning. It's packed with antioxidants - up to 30 times more than the freshest extra virgin olive oils and 400% greater antioxidant capacity than Vitamin C. The antioxidants in OLE play a huge role in protecting our body cells from damage caused by a poor diet, stress, pollution, excessive exposure to the sun, cigarette smoke and alcohol.
Truth be told, this challenge couldn't have come at a better time! 2013 was massive, and by December I had finally allowed myself to feel the fatigue my body had been carrying (and I had been ignoring) for months.
MY NEW BLUEZONE
With the help of this challenge, I've been edging away from the 2013 treadmill I had become accustomed to - full time work, intense house hunting and night time blogging. While I'm all for working hard on things I'm passionate about, it can get away from you and take a toll on your family, friends and your own well being if you're not careful - which flies in the face of what this blog is all about!
I couldn't go to Sardinia, so I brought the Bluezone to Auckland. Making more time for friends & family, helping people out, surfing, lunch breaks in the sun, a bit of meditation & yoga, electronic gadgets off at 10 (big feat for me), bed by 11. Connecting, reconnecting.
Oh yeah, and Mediterranean FOOD! Here are some snippets of my December dinners:
MY OLIVE LEAF EXTRACT EXPERIENCE
The Challenge was centered around a daily shot of Olive Leaf Extract. I'll be honest, when I first started taking it, it triggered an unwelcome detox effect! I immediately had symptoms of fatigue and a skin break out. Thankfully, this die-off effect left as rapidly as it came, leaving me feeling very satisfied that Olive Leaf had truly worked to push toxins from my body. Since then I've felt better and better, sleeping well at night and sustaining my energy throughout the day.
It would be genius to do this challenge again during winter to keep cold and flu at bay. Coupled with the daily green smoothie habit I reckon we'd be pretty much invincible!
All in all, I am loving Olive Leaf and I am so grateful to be able to try out products like this for the blog. I'll be keeping up the habit and buying another bottle for next month! You can too at www.comvita.co.nz
It's been 12 months since my last proper holiday. Big thanks to the Comvita Antioxidant challenge for getting me in the groove of things, and I've just got one last thing to share with Ya'll.
We bought our first home! Last weekend, Fraser and I packed our bags and moved from the central city to the wild west coast, where the swell always pulses and the sun [always] shines :) The ultimate Kiwi take on the Mediterranean life, don't you think? I'll be working so hard in my garden and swimming so much in the ocean, I'll never need to buy another gym membership in my life. Cheers to that and have an incredible sunny Christmas!!!
Homemade Bounty Bars
Chocolate Coconut Kale Thickshake
Dinspiration - my favourite throw together meals
Raw Vegan Lime Cheesecake
The Original Green Smoothie
Plant-powered Mint Choc Chip Ice Cream
DIY Three Ingredient Facewash
Creamy Cashew Berry Smoothie